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J Appl Physiol. 1975 Dec;39(6):1017-21.

Ontogeny of tracheal fluid, pulmonary surfactant, and plasma corticoids in the fetal lamb.


We examined fetal plasma corticoids and flow rate, electrolyte composition, and surfactant content of tracheal fluid in chronic experiments with eight fetal lambs. From 120 to 148 days of gestation the rate of fluid production was 4.5 ml/kg per h, and there was no change in mean fluid sodium (147.8 meq/1), chloride (153.1 meq/1), calcium (2.2 mg/100 ml), and pH (6.23). Tracheal fluid potassium increased from 4.3 meq/1 at 120-130 days to 8.9 meq/1 at term, while plasma sodium, chloride, calcium, pH, and potassium were constant at 146.1 meq/1, 110.0 meq/1, 12.1 mg/100 ml, 7.39, and 4.0 meq/1, respectively. Plasma corticoids were less than 1.5 mug/100 ml total (0.3 mug/100 ml free) until 130 days, when they increased rapidly to 10.5 total (3.2 free) at 148 days. Surfactant was first detected in tracheal fluid between 124 and 133 days and its secretion increased rapidly after 135 days to a value of 125 mug/kg per h at 148 days. A sudden increase in fetal plasma corticoids does not seem to be the stimulus for appearance of surfactant in the lamb, although these hormones may induce the rapid accumulation of surfactant prior to delivery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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